Prime Minister Freundel Stuart (right) is pictured as he addressed the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington,??DC. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

This country is aiming to transition much of its activity towards the creation of a green economy, and to that end it will seek to provide new and diverse opportunities for the business community and prospective entrepreneurs.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who is on a hectic five-day business visit to Washington, DC, made reference to such a shift during a meeting yesterday with representatives of the US Chamber of Commerce.

The Prime Minister argued that environmental sustainability was vital for Barbados’ future, and said his Government was focused on transitioning Barbados to a green economy. "We believe that such a paradigm shift will afford us the opportunity to further diversify our economy, increase resource efficiency and support our poverty reduction and sustainable development goals," he maintained.

"Further, Barbados has devoted a great deal of attention and human capital to the work of the United Nations High Level Panel on Global Sustainability, which recently released its report entitled ???Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing‘. As a member of that Panel, I am proud of its work. We sincerely hope that the international community will pay close attention to the findings of the Panel," Mr. Stuart noted.

He pointed out that Barbados already had a Green Economy Study "which will undoubtedly help us to find and explore new opportunities in this area. You should also be aware that Barbados, as the country which hosted the 1994 UN Conference on Sustainable Development for Small Island Developing States is keenly looking forward to the Rio +20 Conference on Sustainable Development in June.

"We have a special interest in the ongoing work on renewable energy, and will be hosting the UN Small Island Developing States’ meeting on renewable energy in May. We have a competitive advantage in the use of solar energy which we are hoping to develop further," he said.

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